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Re: Not ok with use of term: Level-A, Level-AA, AAA

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.its.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2007 16:52:26 +1000
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <20070721065226.GA16904@jdc.local>

On Fri, Jul 20, 2007 at 11:25:23PM -0700, Sailesh Panchang wrote:
> Comment:
> The document does state that the SC are akin to WCAG 1
> checkpoints. WCAG 2 also uses level-A, AA and AAA
> conformance like WCAG 1.0.
> Although the WCAG2 doc clarifies that ?"levels" does
> not mean that some success criteria are more important
> than others?, I feel the terminology used will lead to
> a lot of confusion to the detriment of accessibility.
> Most will interpret a level-A SC as superior in terms
> of accessibility than a level-AA SC. (see example
> below) It is as if I am saying my Web content is
> superior in terms of accessibility if I meet a level-A
> SC than a level-AAA SC (Present definition of
> level-AAA: Level AAA success criteria increase both
> direct access and access through assistive technology)
> This type of competition is bad for accessibility. 

Since the levels build upon each other (level AA conformance can only be
achieved if the level A success criteria have been met, in addition to the
level AA criteria), I think the obvious interpretation is to hold that meeting
a guideline at level AA - i.e., implementing both its level A and level AA
success criteria - is superior to meeting it only at level A. Likewise,
satisfying a guideline at level AAA is superior to satisfying it at level AA.

This much, I would argue, is clear from the conformance section of the
document. However, the statement implying that all success criteria are
equally important is bound to be misleading, for obviously, level
AAA-conformant content is sure to be more accessible, to identifiable groups
of users, than level A-conformant content.

It seems to me quite inevitable that implementors will, in practice, seek to
achieve conformance (even if only at level A), and this may entail giving
priority to completing a level A implementation over satisfying level AA or
AAA success criteria. I think the structure of the conformance scheme, with
level A as the minimum, and the other levels building on it, ensures that it
is a priority scheme in all but name.

In sum, I would be happy for the claims about all of the success criteria
being of equal importance to be deleted.
Received on Saturday, 21 July 2007 06:52:42 UTC

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